Bachelor's degree in Psychiatric Rehabilitation Techniques (to qualify as a psychiatric rehabilitation expert)(Rovereto)

Biomolecular fondamentals of life (2020/2021)

Teaching is organised as follows:
Unit Credits Academic sector Period Academic staff


• Characteristics of the living beings
• Chemistry of living organisms and biological molecules
• prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell: organization of the cell; internal membranes and compartmentalization; organelles, characteristics and functions: nucleus, ribosomes, RER, REL, Golgi, lysosomes, peroxisomes, cytoskeleton, cell wall, extracellular matrix. Animal and plant cells. Mitochondria and plastids (chloroplasts, amyloplasts, chromoplasts) and endosymbiont theory.
• Biological membranes: structure and proposed models; passage of materials across cell membranes: passive transport (facilitated diffusion and simple), osmosis, directly and indirectly active transport, co-transport. Exocytosis and endocytosis. Anchoring, tight and gap cell junctions in animal and plant cells.
• Cell communication: types of cellular communication: endocrine, paracrine, autocrine and iuxtacrine. Sending and receiving the signal.
• Organization of DNA in chromosomes, mitosis and meiosis. DNA and proteins, nucleosomes, heterochromatin, euchromatin, chromosome condensation. The cell cycle and its regulation. Mitosis, meiosis and sexual reproduction
• DNA and its role in heredity. DNA structure and replication.
• Gene expression: transcription, genetic code and translation. Gene definition.
• DNA mutations and mutagenesis
• Hereditary character transmission and Mendel’s laws; definition of phenotype, genotype, locus, gene, dominant and recessive allele, homozygosity and heterozygosity. Segregation and independent assortment. Independence and association. Crossing-over and recombination. Genetic determination of sex. Gene interactions. Incomplete dominance, condominance, multiple alleles, epistasis and polygeny.
• The human genome: karyotype analysis and pedigrees; autosomal recessive, autosomal dominant, X-linked diseases.
PREPARATORY CHEMISTRY (several notions are included in the basic knowledge required)
1. Atomic structure and periodic properties of the elements: matter composition, atom, atomic particles; atomic theory; quantum numbers, and orbitals; electronic configuration, periodic table and chemical reactivity of the elements; electronic affinity, electronegativity.
2. The chemical bond: molecules and ions; ionic and covalent bond; intermolecular forces; hydrogen bond.
3. Solutions and acid-base reactions: concentration of the solutions, acid-base theories of Arrhenius and Brőnsted-Lowry; hydracids, hydroxides, oxyacids; acid-base reactions; pH and buffer solutions.
4. Organic chemistry notions: carbon atom properties; hybrid orbitals; organic compounds classification: functional groups; hydrocarbons; alcohols, ethers, thiols, amines, aldehydes and ketones; carboxylic acids, esters, anhydrides.

1. Constitutive elements of the living matter: polymeric structure of the biological macromolecules.
2. Protein structure and function: aminoacid classification, buffering power, peptide bond, levels of protein structure; fibrous and globular proteins; hemoglobin and myoglobin: structure, function, factors influencing the oxygen bond; hemoglobin variants; enzymes: classification, role in the chemical reactions, regulation of the enzymatic activity.
3. Vitamins: hydro- and lypo-soluble vitamins; co-enzymes.
4. Bio-energetics: metabolism; chemical transformations in the cell; spontaneous and non-spontaneous reactions of the metabolic reactions; ATP as “energy exchange coin”; biologically relevant redox reactions.
5. Carbohydrates structure and metabolism: mono- and disaccharides; polysaccharides; glycoconjugates; glycolysis and its regulation; gluconeogenesis; hints of the penthose phosphate pathway; synthesis of the glycogen.
6. Citric acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation: mitochondria; acetyl-CoA synthesis; citric acid cycle control; respiratory chain and electron transport; ATP synthesis.
7. Lipids structure and metabolism: structural lipids and biological membranes; cholesterol; stock-reserve lipids; lipids digestion and fatty acid β-oxydation; keton bodies formation; hints of fatty acids biosynthesis.
8. Aminoacid metabolism: hints of gluco- and keto-forming aminoacids; transamination and oxidative deamination; the urea cycle.

Students are invited to choose a textbook of Biochemistry and Biology among those indicated in each module form.

Assessment methods and criteria

Goal of the exam for the Course of Biomolecular fondamentals of Life: to verify students' advanced comprehension of the whole program topics and their capability to expose their reasoning in a critical and precise manner using appropriate scientific terms.

6 examination sessions are foreseen in the whole Academic Year: 2 in the Winter Session after the Course ending, 2 in the Summer Session, and 2 in the Autumn session.
Students will undertake both modules (written test made of multiple choice quizzes and open questions) if they have attended at least 75% of the frontal teaching activity of the entire Course; further information about exam organization is available in each module form.

The final mark (/out of 30) will derive from the evaluation of both modules. Students will pass the examination if the overall rating of both modules, based on the weighted average of credits, is greater than or equal to 18/30. Students can retire or refuse the proposed mark.
Students who do not pass both exam modules in the same session will have to take the missing/insufficient module in one of the subsequent sessions, if only within the extra winter session of the next Academic Year. From the next summer session, students will need to take both modules.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
Stefani M, Taddei N Chimica Biochimica e Biologia Applicata. Zanichelli ed., Bologna 2010
M. Samaja, R. Paroni Chimica e Biochimica Piccin 2016
Bertoldi, Colombo, Magni, Marin, Palestini Chimica e Biochimica EdiSES 2015 978-88-7959-878-1
A. Fiecchi, M. Galli Kienle, A. Scala Chimica e propedeutica biochimica Edi-Ermes  
Solomon, Martin, Martin, Berg Elementi di Biologia (Edizione 7) EdiSES 2017 978-88-7959-938-2
Raven, Johnson, Mason, Losos, Singer Elementi di biologia e genetica (Edizione 2) Piccin 2019
Sadava, Hillis, Craig Heller, Hacker Elementi di Biologia e Genetica (Edizione 5) Zanichelli 2019
D. Voet, J. G. Voet, C.W. Pratt Fondamenti di Biochimica (Edizione 4) Zanichelli 2017 9788808420961
David L Nelson, Michael M Cox I principi di biochimica di Lehninger (Edizione 7) Zanichelli   9788808920690

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